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Welcome to my Blog!

Wednesday 22 May 2013


The beggar boy went to the Arab shop every day to steal food.

He was an expert. He waited patiently until the owner was busy serving and he would slip a loaf of bread or a hunk of cheese into his coat, to quieten the hunger in his belly.

He was a pitiful sight, he knew it. Sometime ago he had glimpsed his reflection in a glass and it had startled and disgusted him. An unwashed, skinny Jew with the look of a wild animal, an orphan of wars. Discarded refuse. Unwanted. Unseen. Untouchable. Unloved. Before his parents had died he had been well educated, well fed and had a home. He had believed in angels. Now he didn't believe in anything but hunger.

He stood thinking on it this day, behind the tree as was his custom, as he waited for someone to come to distract the old man. 

The boy fidgeted. His belly growled. He was annoyed at the greedy old Arab who sat each day outside his shop to read the paper as if he had nothing but time. Arabs hated Jews and so he didn't feel bad taking this man's wares. Even so every night he would feel a pang of conscience and taking a branch from the tree opposite the shop he would sweep the footpath outside it as penance. Every morning the old Arab would open his doors and look around him with a smile on his face as if he had seen heaven.

This day there was no opportunity to steal anything for when the old man was busy there were too many people outside and he was afraid that someone might see him and call the police and when it was quiet the old man sat again with his newspaper, looking over its rim as if he expected something to happen.

The boy left to look elsewhere, dejected, hungry.

In the night it was windy and he couldn't sleep from hunger. When the wind died down he went to the shop again and took a branch from the old tree and began to sweep the leaves from the steps when he saw a loaf of bread there, sitting on a napkin. Too hungry to care why it was there, he took it, but before he could tear it in half he saw that something was written on the napkin.

“I waited all day for you. Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?'

The boy was filled with panic. He thought he could see the old man's shadow in the window of his shop waiting to snatch him and to take him to the police and so he ran away.

Later that day he returned. He wanted to confess and to ask the old Arab for his forgiveness but his shop was closed. It was closed the next day and the day after that. On the third day the boy asked the lady who lived next door what had happened to the old man.

'Why do you care? He died on that windy night from cold sitting by the window waiting for that angel of his.'

'Angel?' The boy was amazed.

'Yes he said that an angel from Jehova came to him every day to take bread from him and every night he returned to sweep his steps. Imagine that! An angel of Jehova eating bread and sweeping the steps of an Arab shopkeeper!'

Choking back tears the boy walked away, thinking that there must be an angel in every one for that old man had been his angel! He had always known of his stealing and had done nothing! And, the boy thought, if there was an angel in him too, then he had better make something of his life, that way the old man's death would not be in vain!

Years later he was a man valued in his community as honest hardworking and kind. He always left a loaf out on the steps of his house. When they asked him why he said -

'You never know what angels are about..'